Backcountry ski touring in Cortina d'Ampezzo to Forcella Bance

On Mount Cristallo and the nearby Mount Popena there is plenty of enjoyable backcountry ski touring, which are not very renowned yet and thus are usually less crowded than the most popular ones.

The saddle Forcella Bance is located close to the more renowned Forcella Michele, which was a strategic outpost during the First World War in 1914-18.

During this backcountry ski touring you will reach the mountain pass Forcella Bance ascending the south face of the mountain. From there, the itinerary continues towards North, thus creating a highly enjoyable circular backcountry skiing path that will take you back to the starting point of the excursion.

Information about the backcountry ski touring in Cortina d'Ampezzo to Forcella Bance

The starting point of the backcountry ski touring is the small car park located along the Strada Statale 48b, little past a hairpin turn. The Statale 48b is the road that links the hamlet of Carbonin/Schluderbach to the village of Misurina, located 1659 metres a.s.l..

The first part of the itinerary stretches out along the mild slope of Val Popena. From the main valley, when you reach the altitude of 1950 metres a.s.l., you will have to turn right and continue your ascent along the slope called “Val delle Baracche” which leads up to the foot of the saddle Forcella Michele and the peaks Punta Michele, Agoloschner and Piz Popena (3152 metre high).

When you are almost at the top of this slope, surrounded by the amazing amphitheatre of the Cristallo massif peaks, you will see on the right side a long and wide canyon that goes up to the saddle Forcella Bance. We usually climb up the canyon wearing our crampons, as in the final part of the ascent there is a short but technically demanding pitch on frozen terrain, chacterized by a steep slope (50 degrees).

The off-piste skiing descent on the slopes of Val delle Bance is highly enjoyable: it starts with a wide canyon that goes straight down to the edge of the rocky area of the mountain top and then it continues along an amazing slope that is the ideal location for an unforgettable off-piste skiing experience.

In the final part of the descent, you need to keep right and pass throught the woods in order to reach the road and car park from where the excursion started.

Technical information about the backcountry ski touring Forcella Bance

  • Starting and arrival point: car park along the Statale 48b route, where it crosses the stream Rio Popena
  • Mountain/massif: Mount Popena (3152 metres a.s.l.)
  • Overall elevation gain: 1050 metres
  • Overall elevation loss: 1050 metres
  • Slope of the canyon - ascent: 35 degrees
  • Slope of the canyon - descent: 38 degrees
  • Duration time: approximately 5 hours
  • Ascent exposure: South-east
  • Descent exposure: North
  • Difficulty level - ski mountaineering section: D - difficult

The mountain huts along the path and nearby offering facilities and food are the following:

  • Ristorante Passo Cimabanche



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